Delivering circles of support and accountability to protect communities from sexual harm and sexual reoffending


NSPCC reports that Instagram most recorded platform used in child grooming crimes during lockdown

The NSPCC are calling for tougher legislation after 1,220 online grooming offences against children recorded in just 3 months of lockdown.

Freedom of Information responses from 38 police forces in England and Wales show that 1,220 offences of sexual communication with a child were recorded in the first 3 months of lockdown.

The figures show Instagram increasingly being used in online grooming offences. The data from our research shows:

Offences have also increased annually in the 3 years before lockdown. In total there were 12,925 offences recorded by police in England and Wales from April 2017 to March 2020, with experts saying poorly designed social media sites are putting children at risk.

The Prime Minister is being urged to ensure companies and named managers can be held criminally responsible for failing to protect children from avoidable harm and abuse.

With ongoing Coronavirus restrictions across the UK, they believe that the risk of online abuse will continue to rise, and many more offences may come to light when children report them at school.

The NSPCC want the upcoming Online Harms Bill to compel firms to consider child protections when they design their sites to prevent harm rather than react once the damage is done.

You can read the full article here.

Circles South West is working in our communities to address the increasing problem of online sexual offending. In Devon and Cornwall, we provide Inform and Inform Plus groupwork programmes, licenced by Lucy Faithfull Foundation and funded by the Police & Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall. Inform Plus provides an opportunity for participants to explore their offending behaviour in a structured but supportive environment and to devise strategies for avoiding future internet offending. Inform is an educational-support course for the non-offending partners, relatives and friends of anyone who has accessed indecent images of children online.

Circles South West is also about to launch a pilot programme, ‘Circles Reboot’, designed by Circles UK, specifically for online sexual offenders in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Gloucestershire.

Do get in touch for more information.

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